'Weaving the Wreath', Frederic Lord Leighton

Boy in classical blue clothing weaving a wreath

In this work, Leighton recreates the mood of classical antiquity, achieving a calm gravity through the pose and overall colour scheme. The relief in the background, apparently showing satyrs and maenads, does not seem to be based on any classical prototype, however. Its relationship to the figure is also unclear, perhaps deliberately so.

'Weaving the Wreath' was sent to Liverpool for the Autumn Exhibition of 1872. Unusually for Leighton it had not previously been shown in London. George Holt seems to have had some part in arranging this. He also seems to have become strongly attached to the picture. He paid the exceptional sum of £525 for it at the exhibition. This was more than ten years before he moved to Sudley and began buying expensive works of art regularly.

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Artwork Details

Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Date:first exhibited 1872
Accession No: WAG 256